Alan White is set to rock Newcastle Days

August 30, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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At first glance, Alan White is just like any other Newcastle resident.

He enjoys walks at Lake Boren Park, attends city events such as Newcastle Days or Concerts in the Park, and even finds time to hit the links at The Golf Club at Newcastle from time to time.

Jerry & Lois Photography Alan White, the longtime drummer for ‘Yes,’ brings his band ‘White’ to Newcastle Days.

Jerry & Lois Photography
Alan White, the longtime drummer for ‘Yes,’ brings his band ‘White’ to Newcastle Days.

What sets White apart from other residents, though, is the fact that he is a bona fide rock star, having played alongside industry legends, including John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker.

The legendary Yes drummer moved to the area in 1994, when it was still Renton. When the city incorporated just months later, it was a funny coincidence given that White grew up just outside of Newcastle, England.

“Yeah, I’m an original,” he joked, referring to the fact that he spent his childhood near the English city that inspired the name of his current town.

White began playing piano when he was just 6 years old. He was introduced to the drums at age 12 and just three months later, he was playing on stage with a band.

One of the many highlights of his storied career came in 1969, when White received a call from John Lennon asking him to join the Plastic Ono Band. It was such a remarkable offer that White shrugged it off as a silly prank.

“I thought it was a friend of mine joking with me,” he said. “So, I hung up on him, and then actually, he called back.”

At that point, White knew it was the real deal, and of course, he was not about to refuse a request from Lennon.

A day later, White was aboard a plane to Toronto alongside Lennon, Yoko Ono and Eric Clapton. The result of the ensuing performance was the album, “Live Peace in Toronto.”

“We hadn’t even played together and we got on the plane and rehearsed a few songs, with me just playing drums on the back of a seat and then we went onstage right when we got there,” he said.

White went on to play drums on Lennon’s “Imagine” album and Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” album.

In June 1972, White was invited to join the band Yes. He has been with the band ever since, and continues to tour to this day.

“I’ve been with Yes more than half of my life,” he said. “I actually just got back from being on the road for six weeks. I’m a little road worn, but it’s a lot of fun.”

The next gig for White is Newcastle Days with his band White. The band has played Newcastle Days before, but there is always something special about playing in Newcastle, White said.

The band will perform music from its 2006 debut album “White,” as well as classic Yes songs.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “My band loves to play and it’s good to do something for the city.”

If you go

White at Newcastle Days

  • 5:30 p.m. Sept. 7
  •  Lake Boren Park
  •  13058 S.E. 84th Way
  •  www.whitemusic.net

 

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Comments

2 Responses to “Alan White is set to rock Newcastle Days”

  1. Sue Harms on September 6th, 2013 10:37 am

    Thanks to Alan and Gigi for continuously making our community such a wonderful place to live!

  2. John Hartley on September 10th, 2013 10:17 am

    I was raised in the same North of England village as Alan and know him well ,he worked very hard from an early age to be a great Drummer and we are all very proud of him.Now he is making you feel the same,Best wishes to you and your readers.JH

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